This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Rayees Rasool. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Sly Games Of The Indian State: As Kashmir Votes, Here’s The Truth About The Numbers

More from Rayees Rasool

By Rayees Rasool:

‘If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.’ – Mark Twain

The elections have already begun in Kashmir. The Election Commission reports say more than 70% people got their fingers inked, and the Indian mainstream media has instantly started beating the drums of voting turnout referring to it as a referendum in India’s favour. Lord Arnab in his usual dictating tone claims it as the vote for Indian democracy.

kashmir elections 2014

In the recent tragic floods, a lot of rhetoric was given about relief and rescue by the Indian Army, even when the ground reality contradicts popular claims. Indiranagar, the closest to one of the major Army Depot in Kashmir has its own tales to tell about the rescue operations by the army. When the losses mark to more than 1 trillion INR (the officials claim), it was untimely for elections to be held, as Omar Abdullah also stated. If the Indian State would have been even slightly sincere towards the people of Jammu Kashmir, they should have delayed it and focused on the reconstruction for the people who lost their houses and business establishments in the recent catastrophic floods.

It is evident that the state has never been honest in its efforts to resolve the political issue of Jammu Kashmir. In Kashmir, the Pro-Establishment politicians project the election process as an issue of “Sadak, bijli, and pani” (Roads, electricity, and water) like it has nothing to do with the Kashmir issue, while the Indian state on the other hand trickily deludes the world by projecting elections as a mandate to military oppression. Holding elections on gunpoint has never decided the fate of a nation, with such a heavy presence of military troopers, one can never perceive the elections to be free and fair. If we talk about the last six years, the coalition government of National Conference and Congress, it always remained in news for Omar’s tweets about his tears in the assembly and the famous dialogue “If my resignation brings back the killed, I will not hesitate to resign”. The Government even failed to stop the troopers from carrying their weapons when curfew was clamped upon the resilient people for weeks together. The Government failed to address the issues of due importance, they kept on adding to the numbers, the enquiry commissions, which have failed to deliver in the past. The recent floods clearly show how the government failed on every possibly front. It is their failure that people are still living under the open sky in freezing temperatures which is expected to go down further in coming days.

We all know elections in Jammu Kashmir always derive special attention of Indian National Media as well as international media. They keep a close eye on everything happening around, from boycott calls by pro freedom groups to “bogus” promises by pro establishment groups. The Indian state tries everything to make the people of Kashmir cast their vote and raise the poll percentage. From big rallies addressed by the heads of Indian National Political parties to door to door complaining, from force by Indian security forces to emotional vote appeals by the family members of the people contesting elections, everything is a matter of interest to the media. In the past few years, the mushrooming of political parties also contributed to the rise in the final turnout.

Elections in Jammu and Kashmir have remained merely a number game for all political parties, especially for the Indian State. They play with numbers and project it as a mandate to the Indian rule. They try everything to get the voting percentage up. The Indian state funds people, allows them to travel abroad (Outside Kashmir) free of cost, promises them businesses and what not to contest elections no matter they win or lose, the ultimate motive is to make maximum people to vote.

Even people who vote have interesting things to say. People vote for their relatives, because their children need jobs, because their village needs road, water, electricity etc., because they have promised Sheikh Abdullah they will be loyal to his party. People never voted against Aazadi!

And in the end, see how they play with numbers.

In the 2008 elections, the electoral population of Srinagar was 7.50 lacs and in 2014 it is 6, 23,717 lacs against a population of more than 13 lacs, which means less than half of the populace in Srinagar are voters. Logically, the number should be higher but in case of Kashmir, it decreases with every new election. This time the margin is a little high.

Let us have a look at the current voting percentage where they claim 70% of the people voted. Sonawari has a total population of 2,75,755 while only 99449 are on the electoral roll, which means 36% of the total population. Out of those 36% they claim 80% of them voted, which means a total of 70500 people voted in Sonawari. Similar is the case with Gurez and Bandipora where the electoral population is 37% and 55% of the total population respectively.

The media is presenting an adulterated version (70% of the populace voted) to the people of India, and hence all the truthful figures needs to be presented through the alternative media; Facebook surely can be a great medium. The media has completely blanketed the other side of elections where every time elections are around, Pro-Resistance young boys, hundreds of them, and leaders, are put behind bars in the name of “maintaining law and order”. Elections held in such chaos and enforced peace cannot be termed fair, at least not in a civilized society.

Also read: How The 1987 Elections Shook The Faith Of The Kashmiri People In Indian Democracy

‘Azaadi’ Lives: The Tumultuous Tale Of Elections And Boycotts In Kashmir

You must be to comment.
  1. nitin

    have you analysed the number of eligible adults who can vote in these constituencies maybe then your analysis would fall flat on its face

  2. psynic

    It’s good to recognize you’ll never get what you’re after. The Indian State needs you people for its survival.

  3. naval

    Rasool miyan aapka kuch nahin hoga .. 😀

  4. Nitish Sharma

    i respect your opinion but jst nt able to agree to some of ur arguments
    1) You have clearly mentioned tht election should be avoided as Kasmir has already suffered a major natural turmoil few months ago and attention should be given to rehabilitate the sufferers rather than changing the regime…but sir,you missed the other side completely,it can also result in showmanship of new vigour in the state machinery which might be quite differnet from what we have seen from fatigued Omar Government.
    2)You just completely missed the idea when you say tht people are voting under gunpoint….in cae you missed election procedure is always under heavy security all over the india as well as the world as there is resentment and differnce of opinion among the masses and its better to be ready for any “mis-governance” rather than to be caught in the midst of all the chaos pants down

More from Rayees Rasool

Similar Posts

By Jay Velury

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Ronak Aazad

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below